Beef, Barley, and Mushroom Stew

Well, it is finally cold here in New England. Our heat is on, the cats have found cozy nooks in blankets, and I get to pull out my scarves!  This stew was one of those “what do I have around the house that I need to use” sort of meals. With extra stewing beef in the freezer it felt like the perfect opportunity to try a beef stew variation.

When looking for recipes I was intrigued by this one as it uses celery root rather than potatoes.  I’ve only cooked with this ingredient once before when it appeared in our farm share, and I chose to include it in a stock. This recipe, however, showed me the depth of flavor that this little root contains! Wowie.

We also ate this meal with the last few pieces of the first EVER loaf of bread my husband and I made.  It was a bit denser than we anticipated though, and so we are going to try shifting a few of our steps and seeing how that changes the final product.  I’ll eventually write a bread experiment post chronicling the ups and downs, but we are very much still in the middle of this one. If you have any tips or posts for no-knead bread beginners, please do share! I’m hungry for any and all resources.

In the end, this Beef, Barley, and Mushroom Stew was hearty and tasted like the delicious ingredients. I wished it had a bit more flavor but my husband loved it as-is. I will definitely make it again, and find some ways to add a bit more depth.


  • 2-3 pounds of stewing beef
  • 2 Tablespoons of butter
  • 1 quart of beef broth
  • 3 cups of water
  • 3 cups of chopped onions
  • 1 pound of button mushrooms (quartered)
  • 1 cup of chopped carrots (chunky)
  • 3 cups of celery root (bite sized pieces)
  • 1 cup of barley
  • 2 teaspoons of marjoram
  • Salt and pepper


Steps and Notes:

  1. In a dutch oven, sear the meat in melted butter. Do this in batches to prevent overcrowding and ensure even cooking. Remove and put on plate.
    • Searing should only take a few minutes, an important reminder is not to fully cook the meat at this stage, as it will simmer for a while later.
  2. Add the onions into the empty dutch oven and remove the fond with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle the onions with salt and cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. After the onions are slightly brown add the mushrooms and cook until water is released – about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the beef and marjoram. Then, add 1 cup of stock and remove any fond again.
  5. Add the remaining stock and water. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  6. Add the barley, celery and carrots. Cover and simmer until veggies are soft (about 45 minutes)
  7. Before serving, give each bowl a nice layer of fresh ground pepper and some salt to taste.  Serve with sour cream or greek yogurt and some crunch bread.

Thoughts for Next time:

  • Continue to work through the ‘thoughts for next time’ ideas from the original beef stew experiment!

beef barley mushroom 1.PNG



  1. check out the web sites for red star yeast and King Arthur flour for great bread making tips

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lisa – I love King Arthur as a company (and recently enjoyed a visit to their store in VT) but hadn’t thought to check their website for tips. Wise! I’ve also never heard of red star, and will be sure to check them out. Thank you!


  2. I am not a baker, so no help here for the bread. However, you could try adding a splash of a good dry sherry (not cooking sherry) or a full-bodied red wine to add some depth of flavor to the stew. 🙂 The stew looks great though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the stew note! Both of those seem like great options. Yum.

      Liked by 1 person

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